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MR REMBLE'S FAREWELL ADDRESS,
on taking leave of the Edinbungn stage. As the worn war-horse, at the trumpet's sound, Erects his mane, and neighs, and paws the ground— Disdains the ease his generous lord assigns, And longs to rush on the embattled lines, So I, your plaudits ringing on mine ear, Can scarce sustain to think our parting near; To think my scenic hour for ever past, And that those valued plaudits are my last. Why should we part, while still some powers remain, That in your service strive not yet in vain? Cannot high zeal the strength of youth supply, And sense of duty fire the fading eye? And all the wrongs of age remain subdued Beneath the burning glow of gratitude! Ah no the taper, wearing to its close, Oft for a space in fitful lustre glows; But all too soon the transient gleam is past, It cannot be renew'd, and will not last: Even duty, zeal, and gratitude, can wage But short-lived conflict with the frosts of age. Yes! It were poor, remembering what I was, To live a pensioner on your applause, To drain the dress of your endurance dry, And take, as alms, the praise I once could buy, Till every sneering youth around inquires, “Is this the man who once could please our sires!” And scorn assumes compassion's doubtful mien, To warn me off from the encumber'd scene. This must not be;—and higher duties crave Some space between the theatre and the grave; That, like the Roman in the Capitol, I may adjust my mantle ere I fall: My life's brief act in public service flown, The last, the closing scene, must be my own.
Here, then, adieu' while yet some well-graced parts May fix an ancient favourite in your hearts, Not quite to be forgotten, even when You look on better actors, younger men: And if your bosoms own this kindly debt Of old remembrance, how shall mine forget— O, how forget!—how oft I hither came, In anxious hope, how oft return'd with fame! How oft around your circle this weak hand Ilas waved immortal Shakspeare's magic wand, Till the full burst of inspiration came, And I have felt, and you have fann'd the flame! by memory treasured, while her reign endures, Those hours must live—and all their charms are yours.
O favour’d land! renown'd for arts and arms, For manly talent and for female charms, Could this full bosom prompt the sinking line, What fervent benedictions now were thine! But my last part is play'd, my knell is rung, When e'en your praise falls faltering from my tongue; And all that you can hear, or I can tell, Is–Friends and Patrons, hail, and FAre You wells
EPILOGUE TO THE APPEAL,
spoken by mRs h. Siddons.
A cat of yore (or else old AEsop lied)
Yes, times are changed, for in your fathers' age The lawyers were the patrons of the stage; However high advanced by future fate, There stands the bench (points to the Pit) that first received their weight. The future legal sage, 't was ours to see, Doom though unwitt'd, and plead without a fee.
But now astounding each poor mimic elf, Instead of lawyers comes the Law herself; Tremendous neighbour, on our right she dwells, Builds high her towers and excavates her cells; While on the left, she agitates the town With the tempestuous question, Up or down 22 Twixt Scylla and Charybdis thus stand we, Law's final end and law's uncertainty. But soft' who lives at Rome the pope must flatter, And jails and lawsuits are no jesting matter. Then—just farewell! we wait with serious awe, Till your applause or censure gives the law, Trusting our humble efforts may assure ye, We hold you court and counsel, judge and jury.
Oh, say not, my love, with that mortified air, That your spring-time of pleasure is flown, Nor bid me to maids that are younger repair, For those raptures that still are thine own.
Though April his temples may wreathe with the vine,
'T is the ardour of August matures us the wine
Though thy form, that was fashion'd as light as a fay's, Has assumed a proportion more round,
And thy glance, that was bright as a falcon's at gaze, Looks soberly now on the ground,
Enough, after absence to meet me again,
Enough, that those dear sober glances retain
* It is necessary to mention, that the allusions in this piece are all local, and addressed only to the Edinburgh audience. The new prisons of the city, on the Calton Hill, are not far from the Theatre.
* At this time the public of Edinburgh was much agitated by a lawsuit betwixt the magistrates and many of the inhabitants of the city, concerning the range of new buildings on the western side of the North Bridge; which the latter insisted should be removed as a deformity.
• O open the door, some pity to show, Keen blows the northern wind;
The glen is white with the drifted snow, And the path is hard to find.
* No outlaw seeks your castle gate, From chasing the king's deer,
Though even an outlaw's wretched state Might claim compassion here.
* A weary Palmer, worn and weak, I wander for my sin;
O open, for Our Lady's sake,
* I'll give you pardons from the pope, And reliques from o'er the sea,
Or if for these you will not ope,
“The hare is crouching in her form,
An aged man, amid the storm,
“You hear the Ettrick's sullen roar,
And I must ford the Ettrick o'er,
“The iron gate is bolted hard,
The owner's heart is closer barr'd,
• Farewell, farewell! and Mary grant, When old and frail you be,
You never may the shelter want,
The ranger on his couch lay warm,
But oft, amid December's storm,
For lo! when through the vapours dank,
A corpse amid the alders rank,
THE MAID OF NEIDPATH.
There is a tradition in Tweeddale, that when Neidpath Castle, near Peebles, was inhabited by the Earls of March, a mutual passion subsisted between a daughter of that noble family, and a son of the Laird of Tushielaw, in Ettrick Forest. As the alliance was thought unsuitable by her parents, the young man went abroad. During his absence, the lady fell into a consumption, and at length, as the only means of saving her life, her father consented that her lover should be recalled. On the day when he was expected to pass through Peebles, on the road to Tushielaw, the young lady, though
much exhausted, caused herself to be carried to the balcony of a house in Peebles, belonging to the family, that she might see him as he rode past. Her anxiety and eagerness gave such force to her organs, that she is said to have distinguished his horse's footsteps at an incredible distance. But Tushielaw, unprepared for the change in her appearance, and not expecting to see her in that place, rode on without recognizing her, or even slackening his pace. The lady was unable to support the shock, and, after a short struggle, died in the arms of her attendants. There is an instance similar to this traditional tale in Count Liamilton's Fleur d'Epine.
0 lovess' eyes are sharp to see,
All sunk and dim her eyes so bright,
Yet keenest powers to see and hear
He came—he pass'd—an heedless gaze,
Alljoy was bereft me the day that you left me,
O weary betide it! I wander'd beside it,
Far o'er the wave hast thou follow'd thy fortune,
Ae kiss of welcome 's worth twenty at parting,
When the sky it was mirk, and the winds they were wailing, I sat on the beach wi'the tear in my ce,